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Man who jumped from I-5 being treated for mental health

Posted at 7:15 PM, Mar 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-31 22:44:31-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A man who jumped off an I-5 overpass is being treated for minor injuries and mental health. He landed safely in an embankment after a 21 hour standoff with police. 

Interstate 5 and 8 were both shut down for nearly an entire day as negotiators tried to talk him down. 

Thousands of people watched as a man risked his life over a busy freeway. California Highway Patrol says he spent hours threatening to jump over the edge. 

"My thoughts were, 'that poor man. My heart goes out to him," Dr. Ken Druck said. 

Dr. Druck works with mental health patients and victims of traumatic loss. He said a person in that situation doesn't always realize what's going on around them. 

"There are literally countless people on the highway saying, 'doesn't this guy know how this is affecting us?"' Druck said. 
 
At the time it might not matter. 
 
"They are so absorbed with their own pain, that there's no awareness of how this if affecting other people," he said.
 
Crisis negotiators had to be very careful as they worked to talk him down safely. 
 
"What you want to do is help him think out loud and emote and deal with what are my options for getting myself out of this pain," he said.
 
After 21 hours the man jumped but landed safely. Dr. Druck has worked with others who life to tell similar stories. This is what they tell him:
 
"As soon as I jumped, my first thought was, what am I doing? This is irreversible. This is not something I get to come back and make another choice about."
 
Dr. Druck said it's often the pain that people want to end, not their lives.

SUICIDE PREVENTION (24-HOUR HOTLINES)

San Diego County Crisis Line: 1-888-724-7240

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255